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Climate Change & Development in South-East Asia

IES participates in roundtable at the European Parliament
16 April 2010

Climate Change & Development in South-East Asia - ImageOn 15 April, IES Vice-Chairman Tom Spencer took part in a roundtable on ?Climate Change and Development in South-East Asia?. Second in a series of seminars organised by MEP Deva Njri in the European Parliament, the round table aimed to promote the inherent link between changing weather patterns and development issues, in an area where both challenges are huge.

Participants to these events included the Ambassadors of the Asian countries of China, Bangladesh and Bhutan and representatives of the European Investment Bank, the European Commission, IPBO and others.

One of the main topics of discussion was the water issue, which is already affected by climate change in South East Asia. The speakers underlined the importance of protecting the Himalayas as a main source of fresh water for the region from glacial melt. They further stressed the necessity to set up a cross-regional cooperation to manage fresh water resources during periods of droughts and of elaborating actions to manage episodes of floods.

During his intervention, Tom Spencer emphasised the need for a regional security policy in South East Asia and gave a detailed presentation of the case of Bangladesh, one of the countries that will be most affected by the effects of glacial melt and sea level rise and where thousands of people will be forced to leave their villages to join the growing crowd of ?climate refugees?.

The problem of climate change has to be handled globally and quickly. There is a need to take concrete actions and solutions aimed to create regional cooperation structures and to share scientific and technical knowledge.

Participants agreed to meet again soon to continue the dialogue and further elaborate on the climate change and development nexus in South-East Asia.

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